Exhibition: Collectivity: Objects and Associations in the UAE Art World at Maraya Art Centre

Collectivity: Objects and Associations in the UAE Art World at Maraya Art Center is an exhibition that brings together artworks and objects lent from personal collections across the United Arab Emirates.

Rather than being acquired only from collectors, institutions, or artists, the traditional faces of the art world, they are also from the people who carry out the everyday labor that make the production, circulation, and interpretation of art possible within the county.

It’s an inversion of the relationships we generally explore, a focus shift that allows for another way of understanding what ties us together as a community and industry.

Wael Hattar and I interviewed Laura Metzler, the curator of this exhibition for our Tea with Culture podcast. We discuss how this exhibition was put together and the response it has been receiving.

There are lot of works in this exhibition and images of each work, plus the description and information about each contributor can be viewed online here.  The exhibition is on until 17th August 2017. 

I contributed some of my personal objects for this exhibition. Here are some of the works from it, my contribution is added at the end. 

Lana Shamma

Programmes Manager – Art Jameel

When I lived in Qatar I worked in publishing, which meant that every winter for we participated in the Doha International Book Fair. Most years one Egyptian antique bookseller would attend and bring stacks of old magazines with him. I would sift through them when I was taking breaks and look through his dusty stacks.

Six years ago I found this issue of Alwan, which was published June 8, 1969. It caught my eye because of the colors, cover image of Sophia Loren, and retro typography. I treasured it so much that I got it framed and hung it in my home. 

Kevin Jones

Writer, critic, and UAE Desk Editor of ArtAsiaPacific⁠ 

I acquired this work Shaikha Fahad Al Ketibi titled Ghaya (2016) from a recent graduate from the College of Art and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University. I am in a privileged and unique position as Dean, of being in contact with these young, emerging  and talented Emirati women artists who have so much to say about their world at a local and global level.

Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi is one such artist. Her work is outstanding as it is multi layered in meaning and therefore has the possibility of speaking to different and varied audiences. It is engaging and compelling, it pulls you into its story. 

Sandra Peters

Assistant Arts Professor of Arts Practice – New York University, Abu Dhabi

Untitled (Memories Once Removed Print Series) by Laura Schneider is a combination image featuring an old family photograph, a drawing made on wall paper, and a bitmapped image of endangered black-footed albatross. Schneider is interested in the construction of personal identity and the transfixion of old family photographs.

Pregnant with meaning and information, yet ultimately ambiguous, these snapshots often act as Rorschach inkblots, reflecting one’s own interpretation rather than an objective truth. Schneider has created many iterations of drawings from the photos, and pairs them with incorrectly rendered pre-photography scientific drawings and with images of endangered and extinct species.

This is my contribution, International Film Paraphernalia 

Gifts from friends, bought or found in various cities near and far. From flea markets, from a gallery and one from an abandoned cinema.

  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla film poster from Thailand
  • Rooznah Amid film poster from Iran
  • Frenzy film poster from Cuba
  • Azhager Samiyin Kuthirai on 35mm
  • Goldorak (Grendizer) on Super 8